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For two parliaments fam'd *, which intail a disgrace,
And have left their foul manners to poison the place.
Next morning the fun, with a face of red hue,
Had clear'd up th' expanse, and array'd it in blue,
When I left the vile town, 'gainst which ever I'll rail,
While Meriden + offers no humble regale ;
But near Mixal Park din'd at house of mean fame,
And at night to the field of lain carcasses came fi.
Tho' full old are thy tow'rs, yet receive my juft praise,
May the ale be recorded, and live in my lays !
Thy Gothick cathedral new homage still claims,
Nor refuse I thy due, tho' repaird by King James .
I forgot to advise you, the sky being clear,
'Twas at Coventry first I ascended my chair,
But, alas ! on the morrow, how dismal the fight!
For the day had assum'd all the horrors of night;
The clouds their gay visage had chang'd to a frown,
And in a white mantle cloath'd Litchfield's old town;
But at noon all was o'er, when intrepid and bold
As a train-band commander, or Falstaff of old,
And proudly defying the wind and the snow,
When the danger was past, I determin'd to go.
At Stone I repos'd, but at Oufley I din’d,
Where our reck’ning was cheap, and the landlord was kind:
Next morning we fally'd, and Staffordshire loft ;
But not ill entertain’d by a Ceftrian host.
On the banks of the Wever, at Namptwich, renown'd
For an excellent brine pit, our dinner we found ;
* A parliament was held here in the reign of Henry IV. called Parliamentum Indoétorum; and another in that of Henry VI. called Diabolicum.
Meriden is famous for ale. 1 Campus Cadaverum, was the ancient name for Litchfield, on account of a persecution there in the days of Dioclefian.
King James II.
The wine was not bad, tho' the ale did displease,
And an unctuous desert was serv'd up of old cheese ;
But as time will not tarry, our course we resume,
And St. George's dragoons take their seats in our room
So travelling onwards, with pleasure we fee
Old Caerleon so famous o'er-looking the Dee;
Four days there we rested ; and, blithesome and gay,
Forgot the bad weather we met on the way ;
Then old Chester, farewel, till I see thee again,
And can stroll thro' thy ftreets without dreading the rain ;
May thy river still swell I, better pleas'd with his charge,
Than when Edgar was row'd by eight kings in his barge !
Be the maidens all virtuous who drink of thy tide,
And each virgin in bloom be affianc'd a bride!
May the heart and the hand at the altar be join'd,
And no matron complain that a husband's unkind !
Let their bounty to strangers resound in each song;
Be Barnstone s their copy, they cannot go wrong.
O'er the cuts of the river our track we pursue,'
And old Flint in the prospect now rises to view ;
How ftrange to hehold ! here our language is fled ;
To converse with these people 's to talk to the dead ;
And a Turk or Chinese is as well understood
By these roisters, who boast of Cadwalladar's blood,
As an Englishman here, who is certainly undone,
If he thinks to make use of the language of London.
From Flint we depart with our landlord and guide,
Who shew'd us that kindness which courts never try'd ;
* General St. George's dragoons were marching up to London, and a party of them just came in when we were leaving it.
+ The streets of Chester have thops on each fide covered over ; which, if not beautiful to the eye, at least preserve one from the rain.
1 People are now employed to make the River Dee navigable up to the
f Robert Barnfone, Esq. whe afed me with the utmost hospitality.
The castle where Richard * his grandeur laid down,
And betray'd his own life by surrend'ring the crown:
Now the well + we survey, where a virgin of old
To all flame but religion's was lifeless and cold;
When in vain princely Cradoc had offer'd his bed,
The merciless heathen e'en chopp'd off her head :
Hence the stones are diftain'd with the colour of blood,
And each cripple is cur'd who will bathe in the flood.
Thus the rankeft abfurdity brain can conceive,
Superstition imposes, and crowds will believe!
Turn from legends and nonsense to see a gay fight,
Where the meadows of Clewyn the senses delight,
And excuse that I aim not to point out the place,
Left my numbers too lowly the landscape disgrace.
At Rhyland we dine, and a castle we view,
Whose founder I'd name if the founder I knew;
But our hoft gives the word, and we hurry away,
Left the length of the journey out-run the short day;
Now ascend Penmenrose, oh! beware as you rise,
What a prospect of horror, what dreadful surprize!
See that height more sublime, which no footsteps e'er try'd!
There the ocean roars loudly; how awful his pride!
How narrow the path ! observe where you tread,
Nor stumble the feet, nor grow dizzy the head;
If you slip, not mankind can avert your sad doom,
Dash against the rough rocks, and the sea for your tomb! !
The danger is past, and now Conway's broad beach,
Fatigu'd and dismay'd, with great gladness we reach ;
In a leaky old boat we were wafted safe o'er
(Tho' two drunkards our steersmen) to th' opposite shore.
* It was at this place that Richard was prevailed upon to resign the crown.
I St. Winifred, patroness of Wales,
$ The vale of Çlewyn.
Here the town and the river are both of a name,
And boast the First Edward, who rais'd her to fame :
There a supper was order'd, which no one could touch,
This too little was boil'd, and that roasted too much
To his chamber full hungry each pilgrim retreats,
And forgets his loft meal 'twixt a pair of Welch fheets.
A castle hard by I with pleasure behold,
Which kings had long dwelt in, or giants of old ;
But the daw, and each night-bird, now builds up her neft,
And with clamours and shrieks the old mansion infeft.
We waken'd' at four, and our host left us here,
As the worst ways were påst, so but small was our fear ;
We follow'd our route, and cross'd Penmenmaur's fide,
Where the prudent will walk, but the bolder will ride.
Still above us old rocks seem to threaten a fall,
And present to fpectators the form of a wall.
Now Bangor, we reach-oh! if e'er thou hadf fame,
Tho' lawn sleeves thou beftow'st, on my life, 'tis a shame b.
There we cross.o'er an arm of the sea, and carouse
On the opposite shore at an excellent house ;
Thro' Anglesea's island we rattle our chaise,
While the goats all 'in wonder seem on us to gaze ;
For be pleas'd to observe, and with diligence note,
That 'twas here first in Wales that I met with a goat.
O'er roads rough and craggy our journey we fped,
Nor baited again till we reach'd Holyhead.
The next day, at noon, in the Wyndham we fail,
And the packet danc'd brisk with a prosperous gale.
We at ten pass'd the Bar * ; in the wherry confin'd,
Which fwims on no water, and fails with no wind,
Till near two we sat cursing; in vain they may row,
Not a snail is so fuggish, nor tortoise fo flow;
Till a boat took us in, and at length fet us down
At the quay of St George in St. Patrick's chief town :
Thence I wrote to my friend, nor believe what those say,
Or too fond to find fault, or too wantonly gay,
Who with taunts contumelious this island o'erload,
As with bogs and with blunders and nonsense full ftow'd;
For, believe me, they live not unbless’d with good air,
And their daughters are beauteous, and fons debonair :
Here tho' Bacchus too often displays his red face,
Yet Minerva he holds in the stricteft embrace ;
Nor the maiden is coy ev'ry charm to resign;
And the ivy and laurel peep forth from the vine.
Thus I've told you in verse the whole progress I took,
As true as if sworn in full cou on the book :
Let me know how in London you measure your time;
'Twill be welcome in profe, but twice welcome in rhyme.